John 3:15 -21
Intro: My favorite evangelist – passed away about 10 years ago – Harold Laythem * I loved the way he preached - (Show a little of it- back and forth pacing) 1. I have read after many evangelists – Vance Havner – Billy Graham – D.L. Moody – Hyman Appleman – Billy Sunday – R. A. Torrey – 2. They have always been giants to me – heroes
I. WHAT IS AN EVANGELIST?
* We think of the fellow who is a revival preacher
1. A God-called preacher who doesn’t pastor
A. Goes week after week around the country – world – preaching revival meetings B. If he can sing – or has a wife or daughter who can – so much the better 2. That is not what the Bible means when it speaks of an evangelist A. Only find it 3 places in the NT
* Eph 4:11 - And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; * Act 21:8 And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him. (NOT PHILIP - THE APOSTLE – NOT EVEN A PREACHER - DEACON) * 2Ti 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. B. The word – so little used in the English language
* Not found in most dictionaries
* To our present culture – seems even intrusive – bigoted * The thought that anyone would try to push their religion off on someone else * Ask the average American and they can’t stomach such a thought 3. Evangelism
A. Maybe only found 3 times in NT – but concept is central to it * It’s the very first part of the Great Commission – “Go ye therefore and teach all nations…” * It is central to the work of the NT church
* It is the only hope of the lost
B. What is it? - It is the propagation of the gospel message to a lost man or woman, boy or girl, for the purpose of persuading them to accept Jesus Christ at their personal savior * It is the very heart of preaching
* It is the duty of every Christian – all believers are evangelist * Rom 1:16 – says that doing it is the power of God unto salvation, to everyone that believeth * The greatest example of an evangelist who ever lived was Jesus Christ 1. John tells us - text vs 17 - For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. A. When Jesus steps up to begin his personal ministry – his first preaching words are – Mar 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. * Jesus doesn’t waste any time getting to the business of evangelism * The business for which He has been dispatched from eternity to take care of B. His love for men and women is so readily apparent
* His compassion for the least, and the last, and the left out of society * So much so He is condemned for it by the religious establishment – * Matt and Mark both record their attitude - Mar 2:16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? * But look at Jesus response - Mar 2:17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. 2. ILL – John Calvin says - Although there is nothing in the world worthy of God’s favor, He none-the-less shows his favor to the whole lost world when he calls all, without exception, to faith in Christ, which is indeed entry into life. A. People wondered why Jesus went to eat - little man - up a tree * Tax collector/outcast
* Jesus explanation - Lk 19:9 - And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house,...